BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz meant no disrespect when he started to walk to first base on a ball four pitch before it crossed the plate in the seventh inning of the Chicago Cubs' 2-1 win Tuesday night.
"It wasn't that I was trying to show up anybody but I saw the manager going to the catcher, 'Hey, don't be stupid, just stay away,'" Ortiz said Wednesday.
Cubs righty Neil Ramirez had just given up a single to Dustin Pedroia with two outs in a 1-all tie when Ortiz came to the plate. Ramirez threw three straight out of the strike zone, and on the fourth pitch, Ortiz didn't wait around for it to be called a ball as he started his stride toward first base.
"It doesn't bother me," Ramirez said. "He's earned the right to do something like that. I'm a big 'Big Papi' fan. In the heat in the moment, I didn't even realize he walked out early."
The video of the highlight went viral although neither side thought it was a big deal at the time.
"The first three pitches were way off," Ortiz said. "Then I kind of looked over at the manager and I saw him pointing to his head, to the catcher, like saying, 'Be smart.'"
Ramirez got Mike Napoli on a groundout to third to preserve the tie.
"He's a great hitter," Ramirez said of Ortiz. "I just didn't want to give him anything he could hook down the line. We knew we had Napoli on deck, which is righty on righty."
By Wednesday, both players realized the highlight had generated some conversation.
"They don't want to pitch to me," Ortiz said, laughing. "Not right there. That kid [Ramirez] is very talented. I saw him pitch [Tuesday] night; he's got great stuff."
Ramirez is 1-1 with a 1.25 ERA and three saves.